All Bach Festival Opens at Marywood

Published on Wed, March 16, 2011

The "All Bach Festival" opens on Friday, March 18 at 8:00 pm at Marywood University in the Marian Chapel with a Piano and Violin Concert given by pianist Fr. Seán Duggan, OSB, an internationally renowned and award-winning Bach specialist, and by violinist Sophie Till, a faculty member at Marywood. This special addition to the Bach Festival is presented in conjunction with the Marywood University Department of Music, Theatre and Dance. Fr. Duggan will also present a piano master class at Marywood on Saturday, March 19 from 10 am to noon. For more information about the master class, please contact the Marywood's Department of Music, Theatre & Dance at (570) 348-6268 or

As part of the Festival, an Organ Concert will take place at Elm Park United Methodist Church in Scranton on Saturday, March 19 at 4:00 pm. The concert will be given by organist Timothy Smith, the Director of Music and Organist at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Scranton, PA, and former Director of Music and Organist of New York's famed Riverside Church. The program features a number of Bach's organ works, including the Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C Major, the Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor, and the Concerto in A Minor, which is based on a Vivaldi concerto for two violins. Also on the program is Franz Liszt's Fantasia and Fugue on B-A-C-H. The concert is free, and a free-will offering will be taken.

The Bach Festival Orchestra continues with a Chamber Music Concert at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Scranton on Saturday evening at 8:00 pm. This year's program is particularly exciting, as it not only features a number of Antonio Vivaldi's instrumental concertos, but one of these concertos is the famous "Il Gran Mogol." This flute concerto was long thought lost, but was rediscovered last year in the National Archives of Scotland. The performance at the Bach Festival, featuring flutist Ed Wargo, will be only the second U.S. performance of the work; the Philadelphia Orchestra will give the U.S. premiere the previous week.

The Bach Festival concludes on Sunday, March 20 at 3:00 pm at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Scranton as the Wilkes University Choral Ensembles join forces with the Robert Dale Chorale and the Bach Festival Orchestra to perform the Vivaldi Gloria and J. S. Bach's Ascension Oratorio. The concert will be conducted by Dr. Steven Thomas, Director of Choral Activities at Wilkes University and Music Director of the Chorale. Featured soloists are Kathy Brink, Larry Hickernell, Gina Lupini, Fran McMullen, Kathleen Shucosky, and Jennifer Smeraldo. The performance is the culmination of the 26th annual NEPA Bach Festival, which runs March 18-20 in Scranton.

The Bach Festival is supported by a Lackawanna County Arts and Cultural grant, a program of the Lackawanna County Commissioners and the Lackawanna County Council on the Arts, and by a grant from the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts. The Wilkes University Choral Ensembles' appearance is supported by a grant from the Wilkes University Student Government.

Admission for the Piano and Violin, Chamber Music and Choral Concerts is $15, $12 for seniors and WVIA members, and $7 for students. Marywood University students will be admitted for free with student ID. Admission to the Organ Concert is free.

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